Once you have drawn a Project card, you may choose to either keep the Project and end the turn or play one or more Excuse cards that are equal to or greater than the value of the Project to avoid it.
Example: Bob turns over a 3 point project card. Not a big deal, but Bob is at 27 points and can't afford to take it. Bob plays a 4 point excuse to avoid it.
While you are playing Excuses, other players may play Recognition cards to temporarily increase the Project value, requiring you to play even more Excuse cards to avoid the Project.
Example: Alice plays a 2 point Recognition card on the project. Uh oh! Bob needs at least one more point of Excuse to get out of this one or he'll have to take the project. Added to Bob's 27 points, the project would bring Bob to 30 points and he'd be out of the game!
If you do not play enough Excuses to meet or exceed the value of the Project (plus any Recognition cards played on it), then you take the Project. Discard any Recognition and Excuse cards played on it and display it face up in front of you as your point total.
Example: Bob plays his ace-in-the-hole: an 11 point Excuse! That is a lot to give up but Bob is desperately trying to get out of this last Project. He beats it soundly with 15 points.
If you do play enough Excuses, discard any Recognition and Excuse cards played, then the Project passes to the next player (clockwise) who then must repeat the process; play Excuse cards totalling an equal or exceeding value of the Project (and any Recognition cards that would be played) or they must claim the Project.
Example: Bob removes the Recognition and Excuse cards before passing the project to Gary.